Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Republicans' wrong-track budget will leave hospitals in jeopardy

Fewer doctors, longer ER waits are expected
The Arizona Republic- Ken Alltucker

Arizona hospitals say the Legislature's steep cuts to health-care programs may trigger more hospital cuts and layoffs, longer emergency-room waits and a deepening doctor shortage.

The budget cuts will eliminate health insurance for nearly 350,000 low-income adults and children enrolled in the state's Medicaid program, leaving them few options for care.

Hospital executives worry that they will have to absorb the cost and burden of providing treatment for the low-income residents and children until the more generous federal subsidies arrive in 2014 as part of the federal health-reform bill. Hospitals are required to provide care regardless of a patient's ability to pay.

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